Cat Help? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Cat Help?

I think my cat could be sick, but I'm not sure. :/ His stool has been consistently very loose for the last several days now and for some unknown reason he seems to have some issue with his litter box. He keeps going on the box itself and not in the litter or on the floor next to the box. I was thinking of maybe buying him a new litter box in case something with this box is bothering him, but I can't think what it would be. He's had this litter box for a while now and he's never had an issue with it before?

But other than that there are absolutely no symptoms. He's not especially lethargic. I mean, he's lazy, but not more than usual. His eyes are clear and alert, no mucus, not cloudy, perfectly normal. There certainly hasn't been any appetite loss. He's still quite the attention monger and he's been his pushy, demanding self. No coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. No blood in his stool. He's not dehydrated at all.

I haven't changed his food recently and he's never had any problems with this food before. He doesn't go outside and hasn't had any interactions with another cat he could've picked something up from. He hasn't lost any weight, hasn't been scratching, nor has he shown any other symptoms of parasites. He doesn't seem to have a fever. He's drinking normally.

Anyone have any ideas? My first instinct would be to take him to the vet, but the vet's pretty expensive and he's not showing any other symptoms... I mean, if he needs to go, he'll go, but I'm wondering if it would be best to just watch him for now?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 11:21 PM
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Sounds like he ate something that didn't agree with him. Does he have access to the trash?

If he has diarrhea he probably is spraying the soft poop against the walls of the box. Is it quite soft or partially formed?

To help soothe his tummy you can give him a spoonful of Activia yogurt or a spoonful of canned pumpkin (not the pie making kind with sugar, just plain canned pumpkin).

I think you should wait before calling the vet, they do tend to bleed you dry
However, if he shows ANY sign of discomfort you better make an appointment.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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It's not spraying on the litter box. He just refuses to go in it. :/ Like yesterday I thought he was over it because I didn't notice any loose stool in or on his litter box but later I realized I didn't notice it because he decided he'd rather just go on the floor beside the litter box.

I thought about him eating something he shouldn't have, but I can't imagine where he would've gotten it. There's no way he could get into a trash can... He is like a goat, though. If he gets a chance, he loves chewing holes in wool sweaters and I can't use ribbon to play with him because he actually eats it instead of just batting it. But he's never had a problem with loose stool after getting into ribbon or chewing up a sweater, and I haven't had any ribbon where he could get it and I haven't noticed any holes in my sweaters, so I'm pretty sure he hasn't gotten to those.

Right now, I don't see any signs of discomfort. He doesn't mind me touching his belly or anywhere else. No other abnormal behaviors. And I don't know why, but my vet always seems to charge more for the cats than the dogs. I'm not sure why that is, but they always seem to really make us pay an arm and a leg when we bring in a sick cat.

I don't have activia or pumpkin on hand at the moment, but I'll see if I can pick some up after class.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:23 AM
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How often is litter box dumped and fresh cat litter replenished?
Cat's that have owned me,or adopted me,, seldom used dirty litter box, and would wait until I cleaned and replaced litter,then they had to go dirty it.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 08:53 AM
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Yeah, nausia and diarrhea/loose stools can really run you dry at a vet. It's rough because it can cause the animal to become dehydrated--which can really worsen any underlying illnesses and even make the animal very sick very quickly, so vets want to work fast and unfortunately there are so many possible causes that they just have to run tests to figure it out, and then they would want to give medication to help settle the stomach to prevent dehydration and just get the cat feeling better.

Not to mention, most cats are experts at hiding their illnesses. We often don't see a cat in at the vet until some problem had been persisting for months without the owners really noticing. When a cat shows extreme signs of illness, it often means they are so sick they can't even focus on hiding from predators, which is not a good sign. It can also mean the owner is observant or the cat is less likely to hide illnesses because of their personality, but that's hard to know unless you have a personal vet who sees your cat often and knows him well. Otherwise it's scary to see a very ill cat.

There could be a foreign body in his stomach--see if any fibers are in his stools, maybe he ate something that is causing irritation. If he ate any old food off the floor it could have disrupted his digestive process as well, which could cause the diarrhea. They might ask to do x-rays if they suspected something like that, which of course would cost you.

There could also be intestinal parasites as you mentioned, but if it was that bad you'd likely see your cats belly to feel swollen and distended(hard, like full of gas feeling)

Some vets would also want to try a giardia test to see if there is an infection in there. Some vets might even want to run blood work to see if there is some kind of organ failure.

It's a difficult thing to be honest--It's hard to find a balance to make everyone happy. On the one hand, if the vet were to not offer these treatments and the cat were to pass away, that would just be awful and would be on everyone's hearts. But on the other hand if there is nothing wrong and the cat gets better in a day anyway and you cost the owners all that money that could have been saved for an actual emergency, that's also terrible. Most vets like to weigh on the safe side of making sure everything is fine and offering tests, allowing the owners to decline them if they wish, but it's still a rough thing.

Just make sure he continues to drink plenty of water if his stools are loose, keep him hydrated. Keep an eye out for bloody stools as well, and if they start looking weird, take a fecal sample to the vet. Fecals themselves tend to run 15-30 dollars depending on what the vet uses, but if you say everything else is still normal you can wait on that for now.

Another option would be to monitor how much he is eating. Animals who over eat tend to sometimes upset their own stomachs and end up with loose stools.

And cats who aren't feeling well often don't want to use their litter boxes--same thing happens with UTIs or even cats with undiagnosed diabetes.

He's most likely fine, but things can take a turn for the worst very quickly when it comes to things like this. I would wait until you see any other signs before heading out. Expect to need to test a few things, treating for giardia is different than treating for parasites, so you want to make sure you know what the problem is before you get medication. Wait a few days, make sure he drinks water, keep the litter box clean. Maybe for now you can buy some puppy pads to put around the litter box to help catch the stools he's leaving outside the litterbox, then just pick the pads up and throw them away. Keeps the house a bit cleaner at least. Good luck with the kitty!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AngesRadieux View Post
He keeps going on the box itself and not in the litter or on the floor next to the box.
OK, that sentence made it sound like he was going ON the box but still inside the box. Sorry for misunderstanding.

Do you have any other pets that could have scared him away from using the box? Using a new kind of litter?

Stress might be the reason for causing both his problems so try to think of a source of stress. New furniture? New boyfriend? Is the litterbox in a high traffic area? Maybe try a covered litterbox or a larger box.

keep me posted.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 09:27 AM
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I had a sick cat last spring, and to make sure he was drinking I would give him tuna water. (That of course, was after spending a thousand dollars at the vets. He had an intestinal blockage.)
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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No other animals go near his litter box. For a day or so, I used clay litter instead of crystal because I had run out of the crystal. But, my first thought was that maybe he didn't like the clay litter so I went out and bought crystal litter. That hasn't made him any more willing to use his box.

No other animals go near his litter box. It's not in a high traffic part of the house. No new furniture or anything. His belly doesn't feel swollen at all. He hasn't been ill often, but based on the last time he was unwell, he's not one to suffer in silence. Last time, he was screaming bloody murder. Now, he's very vocal, but not more than usual. And they're nothing like his "I'm sick!" meows were. It's more of a "Hellooooo! I'm here and want attention! Get over here, slave!" meow...

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 05:59 PM
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You might want to try this:

I have seen this at Petco and some LPS, it works really well with some cats.

or try this:
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 06:02 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong Purple, but from what I remember we usually fast animals if they have the runs.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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